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  1. #1
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    Default Beginner needing a scope



    I'm really looking forward to astronomy but I need to get my first telescope. I'm in a light polluted city (north denver) and will be going to my grandparents on weekends which is a few miles away in a smaller city. I really hope to take regular trips into the mountains and out to the plains to go star gazing. So considering I know nothing and am on a budget which scope would you recommend? I found two on craigslist that are in my price range.

    Celestron Starhopper 8 Dobsonian: 8" dobsonian with azumuth mount

    Orion Skyview 6 Deluxe EQ Reflector: 6" reflector with equitorial mount

    I've heard azimuth isn't as good as equitorial but I've also recieved advice that a dobsonian mount is the best for beginners (if dobsonian is best why does it say azimuth?) I know bigger is better but the mount is important too. Let me know what you think.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Howdy!

    Welcome to AstronomyForum! Great to have you!

    A "Dobson" is nothing more than a Reflector scope on a mount that sits on the ground, rotates (Azimuth) and then moves up/down (Altitude).

    The Starhoppper is a discontinued model from Celestron, but the specs look good. Honestly though, being a refractor guy I really can't speak to reflector scopes.

    The Equatorial mount is good to have, as it allows you to track easier by turning a knob instead of pushing the scope manually. It's a trade-off, really, as you want the most aperture for your dollar, but quality and performance count.

    Does either scope come with extra eyepieces and/or accessories?

    Mike
    Last edited by DizzyGazer; 02-28-2009 at 06:50 AM.

  3. #3
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    Hi PS

    Welcome to the forum!

    Look this is just my opinion, but I think it is worth learning with the Equatorial Mount right from the start.

    OTOH if you really want a bigger aperture and you are on a tight budget then the Dobson mounted Newtonian Reflector (that's what a "Dob" is BTW) is your best option.

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    Default

    Psittac:

    Are these the 2 your are considering?

    Dobson

    Skyview 6

    If so, the Skyview listing would certainly give me some "heartburn", in that no details or additional data is noted in the listing. Still, if you're close to Ft. Collins might be worth a phone call and look.

    FYI: You can get a brand spanking new 8" Dobson from Orion for about $329. Far better than taking a chance on used gear, if given the option:

    Orion SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope - Telescope.com

    Mike

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    Psittac (02-28-2009)

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    Default

    Hi Psittac,

    Welcome to Astronomy Forum.

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    Default

    Thanks for all the replies, it's helping me make the right decision

    DizzyGazer: the dobsonian isn't the same listing, it's listed for $250 and I offered $225. If 300 was my budget then I'd probably just get the new one but my budget is more like $200.

    After seeing that picture however I realize that I never really knew how big that telescope is, that thing is seriously 4 foot tall? I don't really have anywhere off the top of my head to keep it at my house permenantly outside (if thats even possible due to weather) and I don't even think I could transport that. My plan is to primarily bring it to my grandparents on the weekend and I'm thinking I'd get tired of lugging around something 4 foot long. I also want to take regular trips away from the city and again a 4 foot scope could be a hassle. I don't know.... that things huge but maybe it would be worth all of the effort of moving.... I just looked up the wieght of that new one and 40lbs might be a demotivator. Who knows maybe the greater enjoyment I'd get would be enough to make me lug it around.

    Whats the 6" like for transportation? Maybe I'll just get a 4.5" scope for $100 to get me started then some day get a giant like one of those for those special trips.... Plus my budget will go up once I'm out of college so who knows maybe my giant will be even better then that.

    edit: I found a Meade 4501 with 4 lenses for $185 would you get that over the 6"?
    Last edited by Psittac; 02-28-2009 at 07:21 PM.

  8. #7
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    Just fyi , that starhopper probabaly has a discovery mirror . Discovery made them for celestron back in the day . Just because the scope looks heavy dosent mean it is . They seem like a pain to move , but they arnt too bad .
    16in Night sky Dobsonian F4.5 , 90mm refractor 500mm FL , 7in
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    Oh yea , welcome aboard psittac.
    16in Night sky Dobsonian F4.5 , 90mm refractor 500mm FL , 7in
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    Quote Originally Posted by roverich View Post
    Oh yea , welcome aboard psittac.
    thanks

    I've been debating all day long which one to get and after testing out 40lbs of gravel I'm thinking I might go with the dob so long as it's still available.

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    Dont know if you knew it or not , but telescopes are all about light gathering ability . The objects that are viewed through telescopes are at very long distances . The moon is 220,000 miles away , and it is close in astronomical measurements . Your talking from millions to billions of miles . That is a long way off and you need larger aperture scopes to show more detail . The stars are so far away and will always be shown as points of light but galaxys and nebulas will show some detail with larger aperture scopes . The 8in dob is a great starter scope . Good luck on your quest for glass and mirrors ..
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